The Gospel According to Luke 24:44-53
Jesus said to his disciples, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you– that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
I have done what I came to do, he tells them. Now it is your turn. It is now our turn to continue, to continue to spread the Good News. We can’t just stand there looking up. We need to get about the work that Jesus began. The Spirit-empowered church is to be the continuing presence of the Christ in the world. Knowing that the best of the Jesus story, the very worldly part, has yet to come. In the end is our beginning…something God alone can see. So the ending is also the beginning.
Endings and beginnings—life is full of both.
Let us Pray: Almighty Eternal God, fill us with joy and gratitude because in the Ascension of your Son you have elevated man. We are called to glory into which Christ preceded us and in the unity of the Holy Spirit lives and reigns with you forever. Amen.
The Altar window depicting the Ascension of Jesus. Hope Episcopal Church Manheim, PA